001 The Man in the Box

(12:38:18 AM) Ferro: In the depths of space, no one can hear you scream. Even when you’re inside a spaceship with air that can cause noises to travel, because you’re the only one on the ship. A ship without a working AI. A ship without a working weapons console. A ship that looks like it has been through hell and back. It is your ship though and you can scream in frustration all you want.
(12:47:03 AM) Joka: Ships like this were something Joka Katell were well acquainted with. Huge buckets of rusted out metal, shit parts, and filled with abandoned junk. Most people would take a look at these old ships and turn up their noses. But Joka always saw something waiting for a little face-lift. Buying the hull good and cheap, then applying some new parts and wires could turn any piece of shit in to a gold mine. Then there was the hidden treasures! People always left stuff behind and sometimes they were worth a fortune. So there she was, -barely- making it out in to space with her new prize, and now patrolling around in the cargo bay going through the junk looking for what could go as a quick sale.
(12:53:16 AM) Ferro: She’d passed by it at least three times. It was really that unremarkable. There were no markings on it and only a small consul on one side. Otherwise it looked like a rectangular box. Maybe even a tool locker. Except Joka had already located the tool locker, the evac suits, water rations incase the osmosis system went down, and the first aid kit. In fact when looking at everything else on the ship it obviously wasn’t put there by design.
(1:06:24 AM) Joka: There were a lot of interesting trinkets on board, but she hadn’t yet found anything worth more than a couple of bucks. Most of the little storage crates had been rumaged through. She was covered in dust and grease. Now the only thing left was the large container, she was still a little hesitant on opening. Last time she bought a she with a big forgotten container, it was a busted fridge unit filled with Morateon Goat stomachs, and it left her sick for a week. Still… it could be something good! Joka finally fussed around with the locker consol. Plugging in her wristcomputer to see about hacking through the lock. codes.
(1:10:25 AM) Ferro: But there was little need for hacking since the computer on the container only wanted an atmospheric check before opening. The following hissing sound should have been Joka’s warning that whatever was inside the container was being carefully preserved.
(1:13:54 AM) Joka: “Well shit!” It was a fridge, and she was about to have another rotton goat incident! Joka backed the hell away from the container, kicking a cardboard box out of the way as she quickly reached for the freezing spray and her shovel. She was going to have to chuck it in to the contamination unit before the blasted stuff defroted on her.
(1:16:55 AM) Ferro: Then something inside moved! Maybe the goat stomachs were still alive! Alive and swinging around a dismembered human arm! Except it wasn’t really swinging but pushing up the lid, and it sorta looked like it might be attached to whatever was still inside the container.
(1:20:20 AM) Joka: “Hell! Balls! Shitdamnit, whores!” Something ALIVE was ten times worse than something dead and rotton! Especially when it had arms! Course, had she thought about the ‘arms’ bit before dropping her freezing spray and shovel to jump on to the lid and try to close it back up, she might not have done it. It was too late now, though. She was already envisioning space vampire outbreaks and albino brain chiggers as she was trying to shove that arm back in the box and close the lid back. “Like hell I’m going to get eaten by some blood sucking Bantuu with sewn on arms! Get back in there!””
(1:24:43 AM) Ferro: The arm or the person attached to it, tried to fight back, not wanting to be pushed back into the box. It tried wiggling out of Joka’s grip. The hand moving this way and that until it sorta clinched on something soft. The hand just feeled up Joka’s boob!
(1:27:31 AM) Joka: “Hey. Hey! HEY! God damnit!” Well THAT was awkward. Joka went tumbling off the box, wretching herself away from the grabbing arm and checking her chest to make sure her boob was still attached. A readjustment later, she was scooping up her shovel and standing ready to start swinging. She’ll just have to handle it the old fashioned way. “Fine, get out of the damn box, but I am about to kick the shit out of you.”
(1:37:21 AM) Ferro: Ferro Yesfir was still very groggy. It seemed like he had escaped one unpleasant dream but was now in another where someone was fighting with him and now yelling at him. Ferro was not completely sure what they were saying but it seemed he needed to face them. Reluctantly he sat up, moving the lid away with his hand. The thing he had been trying to do from the start! “What!” Ferro snapped, the dark haired man annoyed.
(1:41:33 AM) Joka: A very human looking male wasn’t what Joka was expecting to sit up out of the box. It took a little bit of steam out of her sails. …but only for a moment. Generally people ended up in fridge boxes for good reason, and the last thing she wanted to do was get robbed. She motioned the shovel at him. “I SAID I was going to kick the shit out of you, but I was expecting something less average looking. Instead, you have a choice. Back in the box and I’ll drop you off at the next port. Or give me trouble and I’m tossing you out the airlock in a body bag!”
(1:44:25 AM) Ferro: Dark eyes looked at Joka, first in sleepy confusion but then returning to annoyance. “Give YOU trouble? If you didn’t want trouble why did you rescue me?” Ferro was starting to remember the nightmare, the nightmare that had been real.
(1:48:55 AM) Joka: “Rescue!” She set the tip of the shovel on the ground as she leaned on it, resting the other hand on her hip. Rescue was a completely different story. If he wasn’t lying, that was. “So what are you? Locked up criminal lost by the system? Crazy dude on his way to the asylum? Disease carrier? Owe some mobsters money and got iced? I didn’t rescue you on purpose, I just found you on my ship.”
(1:53:32 AM) Ferro: Ferro crossed his arms in the edge of the container and tilted his head. “Haven’t you ever seen a life pod before?” he asked with some surprise. The he sat up straighter and looked her up and down, not hiding the fact he was doing so. “You’re not one of the people, are you?” he said slowly as he realized the truth in what he said.
(1:57:41 AM) Joka: “If that thing is supposed to be a lifepod, then I’m a Galatic Princess.” There he went with the bedroom eyes. She might have to hit him with the shovel after all. “I don’t know what ‘people’ you’re talking about. I’m a starship seller. Your ‘pod’ was in this ship when I bought it.” …her expression slowly turned in to a sly grin. “Technically that means I own you too, but I’m a compromising sort and you look like more trouble than you’re worth. How about you don’t try to kill me or steal my stuff, and I drop you off at the next port unharmed?”
(2:02:57 AM) Ferro: “I’m not very interested in murder or theft,” Ferro said as he stood up and swung his legs out of the box. He was very colorfully dressed, though his vest didn’t look like it could keep him very warm. “I would like to know just where this next port is though Princess.” How he was staying calm on the outside and a chaotic mess on the inside he wasn’t even sure, but what this woman told him about how she was related or not related to his rescue caused him too many questions he wasn’t sure he wanted to voice.
(2:09:17 AM) Joka: “My name is Joka.” Damnation, last thing she needed was to be called ‘princess’ by some spaced clown. With all those colors he could have been from one of the traveling circuses. “It’s at Helsiki and it’s gonna be a few hours. …and shit. That’s going to be a problem.” Big problem! Joka turned on a heel abandoning her shovel by the door as she trudged through the ship. She only had enough oxygen for one person – after all, the ride was going to be a quick one and it’s not like to get hitchhikers in space. Now she was gonna have to figure out how they were going to breath! ….Maybe she should space him after all!
(2:13:04 AM) Ferro: Ferro was unfamiliar with Helsiki and would have liked more information but instead the captain of this ship had ran off leaving him to wonder what the problem was. “Outsiders!” he said exasperated to himself. He then went off to find her. Once he caught up he asked “What is the nature of the problem going to this port? Are they secretive?”
(2:18:41 AM) Joka: “The port isn’t the problem. Not that it’s a friendly place to be.” The problem with getting parts cheap and discounted, is that you often had to deal with those real shadey asshole types. Still, that wasn’t the -current- issue! Down a corridor, Joke shoved open a door that apparently needed it’s censors repaired. The ‘Heart’ as she liked to call it, was where all the ship’s little nitty gritty bits were. Except for the engine and the power supply, everything else was routed through this room for easy access. Joka knelt on the floor to fuss with the knobs to the oxygen tanks. “Hold long can you hold your breath? Hmm… nevermind that’s not gonna work. Maybe I can turn the levels down. I’m pretty sure I can fly this thing high as a kite.”
(2:24:39 AM) Ferro: Ferro followed, not sure if he was glad to hear the news about the port or not. Sadly Joka still wasnt explaining the problem and he was about to repeat his request for an explanation when he realized what she was most likely working on. “You’re worried about oxygen supply? Why not increase the CO uptake?” There were of course a few obvious other tricks he could think of but he knew sometimes when panicked people forgot the obvious. He also forgot sometimes that what was obvious for him wasn’t so much for others.
(2:29:24 AM) Joka: “…because I’m not so sure this thing won’t explode while we’re still in it. But since you think you know all about it, how about YOU fix it?” Joka stood casting him a faint glare. It wasn’t that she was outright trying to be a pain in the ass, but people trying to tell her how fix stuff, when she had been doing it for years always got her riled up. He looked like he should be dancing in streets or swinging around scimitars, not spouting off ship-tech.
(2:34:56 AM) Ferro: The truth was Ferro could dance with a scimitar with the best of them, but that wasn’t his passion. “Thank you,” he said and squatted down and looked at the oxygen tank then ran his hands on it, finding the pipes connected to it. “So that’s what they did. A bit crude,” he muttered then opened the inside of his vest, undid a flap and exposed a pocket tool set. He didn’t seem to notice or perhaps just didn’t care that Joka had not honestly been expecting her to take the challenge.
(2:41:14 AM) Joka: Interesting. Joka stood there, near breathing down his neck behind him as she ‘supervized’. Her hands were on her hips and her foot was tapping impatiently on the floor. She was expecting him to make some man-show of trying, pretending like he accomplished something, and for her to spend the next two hours trying desperately to keep them alive before she finally got pissed off and shafted him. Pocket tools were new though. “Crude is a bit of an understatement for something a good 50 years old, but not everyone bothers taking the time for fixing shit -right-.” The comment was more of a warning than a statement.
(2:46:34 AM) Ferro: A twist here, a checking of wires there, listen to the hum, feel the vibration, go back to slight recalibration. Blow the dust out and…”That’s just lazy. You can get more out of,” Ferro stopped and looked at Joka looking more then a bit pale. “I’m sorry, did you say this ship was fifty years old?” Ferro was trying not to panic, just because the ship was old didn’t mean anything. No one would ignore a life pod for more the. A short while!
(2:53:33 AM) Joka: “Not bad looking for 50 years, hmm? I got a good deal on it.” Had she not watched him work on the thing, she might have thought he had been electrocuted. He looked a little startled. Which was funny, considering he should have been startled when he first came out of the box. “Course it’s damn near falling apart, but it flies. For now. Are you done screwing around, or can I get back to making sure we don’t die before hitting Helsiki?”
(2:56:38 AM) Ferro: “Right, not dying,” Ferro said in a flat voice as he turned back to the panel that was open and twisted a wire. “That will do,” he told her as he started to close the panel up. “Why was this ship sold to you?”
(3:00:24 AM) Joka: “Considering I just found a body left in the cargobay in a box… I’m thinking they wanted to get rid of evidence.” Probably not a statement based in fact. Though she didn’t much trust the guy that sold her the ship, she doubted he knew what was still IN it. It’s like the dumbass thought it was haunted or something. “You’re not gonna tell me it’s YOUR ship and try and take it, are you? Cause I can go back in there and get my shovel and take care of this right now.”
(3:05:19 AM) Ferro: “Now you’re just being irrational Princess. I’m trying to figure out how much time I’m missing.” Ferro stood up and put his tool away then dusted off his knees. “I have little doubt that some confusion must have taken place no matter how long I’ve been in there, but the why isn’t going to change things.” Ferro wasn’t sure what this woman’s problem was. It was like she expected the whole universe to try to cheat her or something!
(3:20:21 AM) Joka: “In my experience, people that are too damn calm, are usually trying to bullshit their way through something.” Joka wasn’t sure if he was trying to get past her, or if he was hiding something else. But she was pretty certain, had the situation been reversed, she’d be screaming her head off in a fit of crazy. Joka nudged him out of the way so she could check over the air now that he was finished. “Hrrm… not bad at all. You are spared from the airlock. Got any other useful skills I can take advantage of before we hit port?”
(3:25:52 AM) Ferro: “What’s the alternative, act like a maniac?” that would get him far he was sure! He resisted rolling his eyes at her, but only barely. He watched her as she looked over his work. Not bad? That might have been as close as he was to get from her as a complement so he’d better take it. “I can recite the entire Belgayd Epic,” he was fairly proud of it in fact. Not many could sing it from memory. Granted it usually was split into a three day performance and they were only going to be on board for a few hours.
(3:29:26 AM) Joka: Joka squinted at him. She wasn’t sure if that was a joke, or him being a smartass. “I’ll pass on the reciting. You’re free, then. Do what you want, don’t take anything, don’t press any buttons, and if you find anything dead don’t let me see it, just get rid of it. I’ll be in cargo piling up all the stuff I can sell.” She walked down the narrow coridor before she paused to look over her should. “And what am I supposed to call you, by the way? I’m not going to scream HEY YOU for two hours.”
(3:33:03 AM) Ferro: Free but not allowed to touch buttons? Was she some servant of some imp hellbent on torturing him? In any case he still needed to find out how long he was out for and figure out how to contact one of the People. “Hm? Oh my name is Ferro. Ferro Yesfir.

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